ACTION-13: Foundational layer (inclusion of DOLCE alignment in Ontology)

Foundational layer (inclusion of DOLCE alignment in Ontology)

Krzysztof Janowicz
Due on:
July 28, 2010
Created on:
March 24, 2010
Associated Product:
W3C Semantic Sensor Network Ontology
Related emails:
  1. Re: Question about the deployments, systems and devices model (from on 2010-07-22)
  2. Question about the deployments, systems and devices model (from on 2010-07-20)
  3. SSN-XG Meeting Reminder (20 July) (from on 2010-07-19)

Related notes:

Link to OuM.owl (draft version of the O&M part aligned to DOLCE ultra light) added by Krzysztof May 21

Laurent Lefort, 24 May 2010, 15:01:26

Renamed this Action "Foundational layer (inclusion of DOLCE alignment in Ontology)" instead of
"And Krzysztof to continue alignment into more mature state, then we can vote"

Reassigned this action top Krzysztof.

Added a wiki page to record the outcomes of this action:

Laurent Lefort, 15 Jul 2010, 04:48:11

See Foundational layer discussion (July 20)

See version with alignement:

Minor finitions remaining e.g. suppression of deprecated classes, figure documenting the alignment ...

Laurent Lefort, 31 Aug 2010, 10:46:30

Finished (with some postponed work)

The published version of the SSN ontology includes the alignment to DUL.

A paper on the SSN alignment to DUL has been published at the 3rd International workshop on Semantic Sensor Networks 2010 (SSN10) by K. Janowicz and M. Compton The Stimulus-Sensor-Observation Ontology Design Pattern and its Integration into the Semantic Sensor Network Ontology

The conclusion of this paper (written before the end of the XG) says:

"Finally, the presented ontologies and the alignment are still work in progress
and will be part of the final report of the W3C SSN-XG. Among other aspects, the relation between sensors and results needs further work. For instance,
DUL:Region may be replaced by DUL:Parameter in the future. Further work will
also focus on documentations and use cases to demonstrate how to integrate the
ontologies or develop extensions. These use cases and additional user feedback
will be used for further refinement."

The "refinement" work planned before the end of the XG has been done. The corresponding module has been renamed "Skeleton" and is documented here:

The list of mappings is documented here:

Several of the examples published in the XG report demonstrates how the SSN ontology can be used in conjunction with DUL.

The SSNO-DUL paper also includes this statement (which corresponds to internal XG discussions which happened before the decision was made to add the alignment to DUL.

"Nevertheless, the DOLCE alignment may still be over-engineered
for some applications and especially Linked Data and, therefore, restrict the
usage of the ontologies. For this reason, the W3C SSN-XG intends to deliver
the ontologies together with a script to free them from the DUL alignment. To
ensure that first-time users are still aware of the ontological commitments, the
ontologies are stored with the alignment by default."

This can be done and a "proof of principle" script has been implemented by one XG partner (CSIRO) using an approach comparable to MIREOT - Minimum information to reference an external ontology term
(this script will not be delivered as an XG input but it has been used by the XG to generate an abridged version of DUL documentation containing only the definitions which are relevant for the SSN ontology).

Finally, the XG has received feedback on the DUL alignment at the OGC TC meeting in Sydney about the alignment ssn:Observation to dul:Situation.
This alignment was negatively received because dul:Situation is a concept different to dul:Event and the convention in OGC standards is to consider Observation as an Event.

This issue has been postponed and will not be handled by the XG because:
- No complementary arguments or examples explaining why this alignment is wrong were received,
- dul:Situation may include dul:Event
- No one has investigated whether there may be other OGC standards where the Observation concept means something "different" e.g. the Sensor Planning Service service, which would mandate the "looser" definition used by the SSN XG ontology
- No issues were raised by XG participants on this specific point.

The December email indicates cited the F-Event ontology as a richer model in this area. This is an ontology also aligned with DUL so it can be used jointly with the SSN ontology (this has been done in the EU project SPITFIRE led by DERI without leading to any "blocking issues" been raised: see and

Laurent Lefort, 18 May 2011, 11:20:40

Display change log.

Laurent Lefort <>, Kerry Taylor <>, Amit Sheth <>, Chairs, Coralie Mercier <>, Staff Contact
Tracker: documentation, (configuration for this group), originally developed by Dean Jackson, is developed and maintained by the Systems Team <>.
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